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Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has moved to allay fears among fans that coach Arsene Wenger will leave the club following the departure of vice-chairman David Dein.

Dein is the man who brought Wenger to Arsenal in 1996 but his ousting from the board on Wednesday because of “irreconcilable differences”, has raised fears that Wenger might follow.

However, Hill-Wood told Arsenal TV Online: “The relationship that Arsene has with the board is good.

“He is on contract until 2008 and we hope he will extend beyond that.

“It’s well known that Arsene and David have got on very well over the past 10 years and I am certain that Arsene will miss him.”

Dein, who holds 14% of shares in the parent company of the Gunners, will no longer be a director after leaving because of differences concerning the ownership at the club.

In a statement, Hill-Wood said: “On behalf of the board I would like to express our gratitude to David Dein for the many years of loyal service he has given to the club.

“We sincerely regret that irreconcilable differences between Mr Dein and the rest of the board have necessitated a parting of the ways.”

Dein left the club with immediate effect because of “irreconcilable differences” with the rest of the board.

Dein, 63, is reported to have backed Stan Kroenke who recently bought a 9.99% stake in the club, but his support for the American billionaire put him on collision course with Hill-Wood.

But the chairman has insisted that Dein’s departure was not due to a lack of transfer funds available to Wenger.

“We’ve always made funds available to Arsene, he attends the board meetings, he understands the financial position,” said Hill-Wood.

“I can assure supporters that we will continue to provide funds when Arsene requires them.

“We have a very good squad – young, maybe, but developing well – and if Arsene wants to strengthen it we have the money to provide him with any reasonable purchases he wants to make.”

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